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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

We Are Independent Warriors of the Synth-Pop Music Scene

Candy Apple Blue Hoyt Emerick Synth-Pop
Hoyt Emerick of Candy Apple Blue

 AI algorithms cannot replace the human heart that goes into our art. The current-day Crucifixion of all indie artists is blasphemous. Our work is just as important, if not more valuable, than the music the major labels release. We are independent warriors of the synth-pop music scene. We are Candy Apple Blue. 🍬🍎🟦

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Vibe Was Duran Duran (Photo)

Hoyt Emerick 1989 of Candy Apple Blue
Hoyt Emerick of Candy Apple Blue (1989)

 The year was 1989 and the vibe was Duran Duran. ~ Hoyt

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Those New Wave Days!

Hoyt Emerick of Candy Apple Blue new wave gothic rock
Hoyt Emerick of Candy Apple Blue (Early 90s)

In the early 1990s, I was a huge fan of gothic rock. Bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Gene Loves Jezebel resonated with me. (They still do, actually.) My happy summer song was 1987's Black's "It's a Wonderful Life." 

This pic makes me feel nostalgic for those "new wave" days. ~ Hoyt

Friday, May 3, 2024

Have You Heard? by Blake Donley

Candy Apple Blue The Inertia Case
The Inertia Case became Candy Apple Blue

Have You Heard? by Blake Donley

(Reprinted by the kind courtesy of Apocalypse Music News)

In the mid-90s, a sibling duo from Pittsburgh was "Moving Out of Town" to the Big Apple. Like countless aspiring musicians before them, they saw boundless opportunity in the city that never sleeps. It was there that Carly and Hoyt Emerick began defining their style, crafting their music, and clubbing...lots of clubbing. With influences like Aimee Mann, Boy George, Pete Burns, and David Bowie, they set out to conjure catchy pop-sensible synthwave music for the new millennium.

Eventually, they settled in Astoria, a neighborhood in Queens. Armed with their trusty CrossWave synthesizer the Ensoniq SQ-80, the duo began to find their footing as a band. In those early days, Carly admits, "We both knew that we couldn't really sing our way out of a wet brown paper bag." They placed an ad in The Village Voice for a vocalist to breathe life into their sonic creations. Elton Lin (currently of Notorious MSG) answered, they hit it off, and he assumed the lead singer duties. As The Inertia Case, the trio wrote, recorded, and performed in the NYC clubs. Carly laments, "I look back on these days with so much fondness. If only we had the deep pockets of a major record label behind us. I feel confident that we could have made it big time."

Then 9/11 happened. Carly confesses, "After 9/11 we moved back home because we truly thought that the world was coming to an end. We lived in NYC when that occurred, and it affected the people who lived in Manhattan the most. It was a very scary time." A seven-year hiatus ensued. But in their late 30s, they both felt the creative itch of those halcyon days. Carly says, "Our creative souls needed an outlet."

Being used to leaning on Elton Lin for vocals, the duo struggled to get back into the swing. They reincarnated themselves as Candy Apple Blue and released their first single "Graveyard" in 2010. After the reboot, they began putting out new synthwave and dance-pop music reminiscent of the golden age of new wave but with their own fresh and fantastic twist. Eventually, they put out a pair of full-length albums Powers Activate and Second Sight collaborating with singer Nick Bramlett. In the process, they became the house band for YouTube superstar TechMoan.

Their latest project looks to be the most ambitious of their career: "Moving Out of Town." Carly describes it this way, "I'd say it has a classic disco-rock sound—the kind that was big in the late 70s and early 80s. It was influenced by songs like "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer, "I Was Made for Loving You" by KISS, and "Call Me" by Blondie. We also threw a pinch of 90s Europop in there for good measure. (Think "Be My Lover" by La Bouche.)" They hope to release just in time for Pride month. Carly goes on to say, "The song is about what a lot of us LGBTQ+ Gen X'ers did. We moved to big cities to find acceptance and get the chance to live our lives authentically. That's what Hoyt and I did." They began composing the ditty way back in 1997 in NYC; it's a song 27 years (and multiple rewrites) in the making. 

Personally, I've been following the band ever since I caught their music on a TechMoan HiFi review video back in 2018. As a fellow Gen X'er, I love the memories their synth-driven pop evokes. They are SUCH a fun band to turn up to 11 on my preposterous Pioneer stereo system. As a fellow creative soul, I love finding other artists of my vintage still making fantastic art—it gives me tremendous hope and inspiration! As a fellow music lover, it was a BLAST to collaborate with them on their video for "Graphic Equalizer" (see video for my Pioneer HiFi gear cameos). If you are looking for new synthwave pop tunes done with flair and style, check out Candy Apple Blue!

[Blake Donley wrote this article about us and sent it out in his email-based subscription newsletter. He let us reproduce it here (by kind permission) so that it could be read by people who are not subscribed to the Apocalypse Music News. "Subscribe to the newsletter The Man doesn't want you to read."]